COLUMBUS, Ohio, U.S. — Ethiopian Kossa Kebena coffee from Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has won a 2020 Good Food Award. The Columbus roaster was the only Ohio coffee winner. One of the top honors in the food industry, the award recognizes companies creating a better American food culture.
Winners rose to the top in a blind tasting of 1,835 entries from 43 states. Besides epicurean excellence, they showed a commitment to sustainable social and environmental practices.
Crimson Cup Innovation Lab Manager Joe Capatosto accepted the award Friday, Jan. 17 at a star-studded awards ceremony at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center.
“It was an incredible honor to represent Ohio among the country’s top craft coffee and food companies,” he said. “Together, we are working to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for coffee and the farmers who grow it.”
This is Crimson Cup’s second Good Food Award. Ethiopian Kossa Kebena won in 2017 and was a 2019 finalist.
Crimson Cup sources the coffee from Ethiopia’s Limmu region.
“Kudos to Abdulhi Sherif, owner and manager of Ketim Plc., and the farmers of the region for producing such an exceptional crop year after year!” said Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert. “Their organic growing methods yield great-tasting coffee while building soil health for the next great crop.”
A member of the Kossa Geshe co-op, the 1,000-hectare farm was established in 2009 to safeguard part of the country’s remaining dense forest.
“The farm grows heirloom variety coffee trees at an altitude of 5,000 to 6,200 feet,” said Sustainability and Education Director Brandon Bir.
“The coffee is dry processed on raised beds, then given a light roast by Crimson Cup,” he said. “The result is an exceptional coffee with a syrupy body and tasting notes of bright fruit and sweet berries.”
Bir has worked with the farm since 2016 through Crimson Cup’s Friend2Farmer direct trade initiative. The roaster supports environmental, economic and social efforts to sustain crops and communities.
“We developed Friend2Farmer to connect farmers and coffee consumers,” Bir said. “Consumers pay more for exceptional coffee. When growers earn more, they can invest in farms and communities.”
Now in its 10th year, the Good Food Awards celebrate tasty, authentic and responsible foods. The 17 categories include: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, elixirs, fish, grains, honey, oils, pantry, pickles, preserves, snacks and spirits.
Entries passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they met Good Food Awards standards emphasizing fairness and transparency from seed to plate or cup. These include environmentally sound agriculture practices, sourcing transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain.
Ohio coffee lovers can enjoy Ethiopian Kossa Kebena at Crimson Cup Coffee Houses in Clintonville, Upper Arlington and Tallmadge, Ohio. A 16-ounce drip coffee sells for $2.50, and a pour-over drink costs $4.75. On the Crimson Cup website, 12-ounce bags of Kossa Kebena retail for $16.50.